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tv   [untitled]    December 31, 2014 3:00pm-3:31pm PST

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losing john paul scott. john paul scott is a resource and a person very much still with us. what he did recently was he left our office, the mayor's office on disability and accepted a promotion at the department of public works. when he first shared with me his change, his plan, my first thought was panic and incredible loss. the next thought i had was just being so proud of him for choosing to take a new path to take on new challenges to really chart a route where he can continue more of his amazing work that heats done with us. so given that, i gave him my full blessing and my full support and i'm very proud that he's gone now to the department of public works to
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serve another one of our disability access coordinate ors working with kevin generous -- jen son. >> he's been with us for 10 years. he says it's as long as he's been anywhere. long before john paul came to mod he had an increased mobility with access and he was one of the people who developed the standards for the accessibility guidelines and this goes back to 1990s. over the years, california code process was advancing, he was also serving with the abandoning -- banding
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commission. and everyone who sat necessity -- in the committee knows it's a slog, it takes passion and commitment. what we like about paul is most of all his passion. when he started working in the ada transition plan, we were in the early days, the infancy and we needed his guidance and focus to not only be able to develop the plan but advocate for the money and work with the managers and designers and the contractors and the department heads all of the different people that are involved in bringing these projects forward. it was really under his leadership that the city was able to start making progress. when you look
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at his accomplishments over that ten 10-year period, there were over 100 projects valued now at $46 million that john has had that foot print. you can do that at the city service centers and the san francisco general hospital, he has literally touched them all and he's made such an incredible difference. when we think about his advocacy, we all had to really appreciate just him as a person, as a loving person as a supportive person, as a person who always organized the mayor's office on disability special events really brought that heart to anything that we did and in fact in his performance plans every year, party
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planning was always one of his tasks and of course party planning was always one of his great accomplishments too. it's only been since he's left mod that i have even been able to get true and full appreciation of everything that he did because i'm trying as fast as i can to try to keep up and to back fill in his absence. i just look forward to all of those years ahead of us where we continue to work with john paul. i want everybody to appreciate as i appreciate how in incredibly special he is and i thank the council for allowing me to say a few words and perhaps you may have something you want to say as well. thank you. here we have a nice trophy, presented to john paul scott in appreciation for your role in sfran san
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francisco's ada did guru for 2014. >> thank you. i have to just say say few things. it's been a pleasure to work with staff at mod and partners in goals, not crime, is joana ferguli, we have been the ying and the yang in program access. to build the ada transition plan in that project took a lot of work but it also took a lot of help and assistance from the council. it was critical for the council to tell us the decisions, what was important and how was it
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going and what were we achieving from year to year and it is with your support with how we got the funds to do the projects. we had some set backs during the economic crisis, it cost a bit of a delay but also gave us an opportunity to get more funds and more projects. in this we have a lot of projects under construction. as you may know the office has advertised to replace a position for me, they advertised the deputy director of position. i as the king of toilets will pass that mantle on to that person when they come because we have many toilets under construction right now. so i look forward to helping that transition and that person coming on board. staff, i love you
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all, councilmembers, it's been great to work with you and now ten 10 years that i have brought to mod to dpw will bring more to this city's quality of life. thank you. >> thank you, i think we have councilman laura? >> i just want to say this you for everything. you will be greatly missed by the mayor's office on disability and i hope that you go with giant strides and just make sure that we are tethered along somewhere because we'll definitely continue to benefit from your expertise. >> next, we have councilmember roland wong. >> yes, i appreciate all your work and especially while serving as the chair
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of the physical access committee and we have done a lot of great work lie what carla mention the central subway and dolores park to make it more accessible and the libraries to make it more accessible. so i hope to continue working with you through mdc and mod to continue forward to make things more accessible. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> next we have councilmember senhaux. >> john paul, it's been a lot of years and to piggy back on some of the council, we will miss you. i thank you so much. you have educated us all on disability access. all
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your conversations on ada plans were never boring and you were constantly educating us throughout the way. i will always remember you as the king of toilets and you will be passing that along and we look forward to working with you in the future. we won't wish you good luck because you will be working near us. it's been great to have you. >> next, councilmember kostanian. >> i'm not good at speeches. all i have to say is that you have been up lifting to people that you have worked
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with throughout the years. i really liked this committee and we got a lot accomplished there. it was because of you that everything was well done. thank you. it's been an honor and privilege to know you. >> thank you. >> then we have councilmember harriet wong. >> thank you for your dedication to your work and trying to play games while educating us on your building codes. i was here for that. we really look forward to your report in the future so please come back and visit us and thank you. it is a really great honor to know you.
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>> just to say the presentations here have been a great thing to have here not just for us as councilmembers but others swem. a -- as well. a lot of times you pass the playgrounds and facility, you don't even notices and of course it should be there but i guarantee you as being a transplant here from the midwest, it's not everywhere and it's been a beacon of light from other municipalities when you see these examples and more when you see the process of goes through and everyone can really see how you take an idea and go from there and just hearing from your peers as well as others, i know that dpw is going to do wonders with you and continue in the great work that you do.
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thank you, again. [ applause ] >> to the chair, i wonder if staff can make any comments. ? i couldn't let my yang go without any speaking. first when carla and i got together and said john paul is leaving, we both were struck by panic, carla was more panic and i was more grief. though she got over it, i haven't. for those who don't know, i have been with the mayor's office on disability for eight 8 years now and all of my eight years 8 years i have been john paul's next door neighbor and hearing his music every morning. when we were talking about
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your award we fluctuated between being king of toilets and guru, but to me you are the king of playgrounds because john has part of my life and part of mod's life that organized my baby shower, my adoption party and when i'm with my daughter on the playground and i'm able to roll on the slides to get on the playground with my kids, i remember how much your work made this accessible services a playground standard and something that my kid and i always talk about uncle john's contribution to the playground. so i want to thank you for that on a personal level and also to get you off the hook that i'm still not missing you terribly and in
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incredibly that you left. >> i'm just down the street. >> it doesn't matter, but i just wanted to thank you for being a colleague, mentor and a friend and i hope to see you around. i know you will do great things, and if not, your position is still open. [ laughter ] >> i speak from the rest of the programmatic access team to say that we'll really miss you, we'll miss your interjection of physical access and programmatic access and one of the things that maybe you don't know about john paul is how he combines his great advocacy and knowledge of the code to find common ground between the polarized and i have seen
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you negotiate passionately about subjects that tend to polar i was individuals and john has common sense to look into the code and make things not just functional but beautiful. that sense of style which resonates from you. it's something that will be missed a lot at mod. thank you. >> to the chair, john paul i haven't had the honor of knowing you as long as everyone else but my impression is of you that you make your job look so easy. when i attended one of my first
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mdc meetings and i thought, gosh, that guy works hard. i look forward to seeing you around, although i'm a little bitter that you leave the party planning to me and that's big shoes to feel and i have no expectation that i'm going to do half a job as you did but i continue to working with you. >> my just closing statement i this is to echo what joannea was saying is thank you, paul for being a mentor as well and not just colleagues but a friend and there is a lot of love there and you deserve our appreciation. [ applause ] >> i will be back for the other party. [ laughter ]
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>> thank you. moving on to -- before we get to information item no. 7, we believe we have instruction from councilmember lara? >> good afternoon, in view of veterans day a couple weeks ago and to ensure that veterans are not only recognized but their efforts are appreciated, i thought it would befitting that the council talk about veterans with disabilities and thank you for the introduction early about why the veterans community and disabled community need to have continuing dialogue to ensure they have access to all parties and what is available to them and also the community understand the effort that veterans communities are doing as they
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return from conflict have more access and policies to ensure they are treated with dignity and respect and the services they earned. >> thank you, councilmember. with that we move to item no. 7. housing for low income chronically homeless veterans presented by leon winston, chief operating officer and housing director at swords to plow shares. >> good afternoon, my name is leo jocelyn. i'm the clinical director for the programs. leon was not able to attend today. what we do at swords. we house right now 300 veterans. at this point in time we house
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300 veterans at several locations. i'm the clinical director. i over see the counseling piece, the therapy, case management for these veterans. we have transitional housing on treasure island where we have 65 veterans transitional housing that assist veterans from moving from homelessness back into the community and at that site we provide drug and alcohol counseling and therapy for those who are diagnosed with a mental health condition and substance an abuse and we have a frail program for veterans who are 65 or older and become homeless and we have 22 beds in in gel side to help those
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transition back to the community. we run 150 oh otis and we have in presidio where we have 189 veterans and those are supportive housing for veterans and these are homeless veterans who have moved into housing and we have services to keep them in housing because being homeless, the whole journey from returning from serving our country and becoming homeless, the entire journey comes with a lot of stuff, a lot of emotional and physical issues. 100 percent of veterans with us are disabled, have a disability of some sort. i would like to read the mission of the swords plow
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shares, swords heals the wounds and significantly reduce homelessness and poverty among veterans. we believe wholeheartedly in this mission, we believe that wounds, that the war causes wounds because we work with this everyday at our housing sites. what i would like to do today is talk about these wounds and talk about how these wounds leave to disabling conditions and what we are doing intellectually and collectively to restore dignity to these veterans who become homeless and i especially want to talk about invisible wounds. so san francisco is home to approximately 24800 veterans and for the most part our veterans are doing pretty well. they return from serving their
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country, they get jobs, go to school and raise families. they lead meaningful lives but not everyone is doing that well. many of our veterans are living in poverty. some have lost their housing and have been homeless and some are in danger of losing their housing. veterans are approximately 26 percent. there are programs -- issues that include mental health, injuries, pain, chemical exposure, infectious diseases, noise and vibration and cancer and disorders. post traumatic stress disorder and conditions of alcohol are conditions we find have been severe
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disabling for veterans who have become homeless and in many cases led to their homelessness. we believe that trauma is at the core of issue and one of the more devastating wounds of war. to give you an example, a vietnam war vet we had in our program. when the blue angels were doing their practice dive in treasure island, he fell to the ground in pain. we had to call 911 to the emergency room. he was triggered and he had to respond where he was first on the scene and there were 25 soldiers dying in a missile. that soldier was there and it affected his mind and body and he had to be hospitalized. that's what at & --
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ptsd is doing. another veteran that recently returned from iraq. he wanted to go back to school, back to work. he got in school, he was admitted and started classes, but the problem was that he kept looking around at his classmates and trying to figure out if any of them were going to hurt him and he tried to figure out what he would do if they would attack him and he was focusing on that and not his schoolwork and ultimately dropped out. he did return and he was able to down the road exceed what he was trying to do but ptsd really got in the way. so ptsd is something that gets in the way of housing and ultimately you need to have housing if you are going to work. it's
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critical that we house our homeless veterans. another issue with drug and alcohol addiction, with ptsd we see this over and over again, using drugs and alcohol is a method of self medicating. the symptoms of ptsd include various symptoms such as a high agitation, high levels of anger, easily triggered by all sorts of things in the environment. if you have these sorts of inner condition going, it's like our veterans can hold their trauma in their bodies and what happens is the body adjust to this. their central nervous system undergoes changes, the brain undergoes changes in the world is a dangerous
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place and you react that the world is unsafe and you make sure you are not going to get in trouble and nothing bad is going to happen. when you look at the world that way, it's very hard to succeed, it gets in the way of housing, schools and work. when you have that kind of emotional activity going on inside, one of the examples of responses is to go to drugs and alcohol. if you see a homeless veteran on the street that is on drugs or alcoholic, we are failing to recognize self medication as a very understandable response to internal pain. so we have 300 veterans living under our roof who are
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homeless. for young male veterans 18-24 they have a higher unemployment rate than their civilian counter parts. for veterans 18-30 years old living in poverty, veterans are 3.4 times more likely to become homeless and between the years of 2013-2014 we had 59 percent increase in veterans in the 18-24 age range in our transitional housing programs seeking assistance because they had become homeless which is a pretty alarming statistic in one 1 year of young veterans returning to civilian life. what's going on here? in this junction we can only speculate, the va states war veterans are challenged with ptsd, there are
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3500 current afghanistan veterans are in san francisco and they are challenged with this. traumatic brain injury is another condition we are seeing. depending on the injury a severe tbi can affect speech and attention and memory, concentration, impulsiveness. there is an estimate of four 4 percent having severe tbi that would translate to 175 city of san franciscans with tbi and can affect their ability to concentrate. but it's very difficult to detect. just last week terry gross on fresh air wrote on single injuries to
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today's veterans, they include sorrow, grief, regulate, ale nation. -- alienation. this is something they had to do that goes against their value system, maybe they had to kill a child, maybe something they were horrified by. terry called it moral injury, the signature wound of a veteran. i would say it's a significant you -- signature wound of a war veteran. if we combine ptsd and tbi and moral injury, it's that many of our troops are going to be compromised. it's critical that we keep a high awareness so that members of this group aren't lost to homelessness, that members of this group can work. just so something
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that we are watching out for and we believe everyone needs to watch out for. to go on, there are all sorts of disabling conditions that can affect the veterans, there is gulf war syndrome that includes symptoms of fatigue, cognitive issues gastrointestinal problems and neurological issues. estimates are 25 percent that gulf war vets have some form of gulf war syndrome and this translates to 850 san francisco residents. i don't know if anyone has ever witnessed having a severe lung reaction where they can't breathe. we've had that happen at our site. it's very scary to see but you can imagine how scary it is for the veteran experiencing it. one

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